Access and Utilization of New Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Medications. B. Defining Utilization


Utilization is defined as the use of a health care service, procedure, device, or pharmaceutical. Utilization is influenced by access, although the actual utilization of a given pharmaceutical may not reach the maximum level expected given a specified level of "access." Utilization can be recorded in a number of ways: per capita, hospital length of stay, physician office visits, or number prescriptions. With regard to utilization of pharmaceuticals, four principal factors affect utilization:

  • Physician Habits and Treatment Guidelines;
  • Pharmaceutical Marketing;
  • Utilization Review; and
  • Patient Compliance and Disease Management.